zaterdag 3 december 2016

Medic!

A quick Saturday evening conversion, I present to you Brother-Apothecary Arvun:
Shortly after the release of Burning of Prospero, I chanced on a cheap squad of MkIII marines, thanks to a tip from Gunbird. I intend to use them as extra bits to convert my Howling Griffons. This is the first attempt at such, by combining the MkIII armour with the Apothecary bits from the Space Marine Command Squad. I still need to add the purity seals and other tchotckes that will root him firmly in the 41st millennium.


Brother Arvun is my Howling Griffons 5th Company Apothecary, honoured to wear one of the few MkIII suits the chapter still cherishes. As Arvun is often found in the thick of things aiding and saving fellow Griffons, the extra protection of the venerable suits thick plates is more than welcome!

I really like these MkIII "Iron" armours. And it gave me an idea; while I can't go full Heresy Era with my Griffons (not being a founding legion and all), I might decide to go "historical" with them; Modelling them not to represent a M41 army, but rather an M34-M37 or so army. So with a few more ancient armours still seeing regular use, rather than being hid away in the armoury as relics of a bygone age. It also gives me an excuse to use every single bit of MkVI kit I come across, as those would also see much more heavy use in that era, and they are my favorite armour mark.
I'm kind of liking the idea, but need to mill it over a bit more. It would mean playing and building my Griffons without the weight of the Badab War and the feud with Periclitor behind them. And while the feud with Periclitor isn't my favorite piece of Howling Griffons backstory, I do love the Badab War dearly...
Another thing to consider, should the Time of Ending that 40K is currently entering turn out to be as big a clusterfuck as the Warhammer Fantasy End Times were, I have another excuse to completely ignore it! 
I'm loath to give up the Badab War though, I may just keep my army M41 and use the older marks to really show off the age and pedigree of my Griffons. Luckily I can ponder this at my leisure, as I have absolutely no deadline for this army. :D

zondag 27 november 2016

We are the Angels of Death!

Over the past few weekends, I painted the Terminator Squad from the Dark Vengeance set.
I started them quite a while ago, working on them as my son painted his first Space Marine. Seeing that the Space Hulk:Deathwing PC game is nearing it's release date, I thought it a good opportunity to finish these Terminators. Plus, they served as an excuse to keep doing some hobby stuff as I adjust to a new job and changed daily rythm.
They aren't part of any of my main projects (though they can serve well in Space Hulk games), so if I messed them up or abandoned them, it wouldn't be a major distaster.
As a side effect of this, I've been painting them less for excellence, and more for to just get them finished and to simply enjoy the activity of putting paint on figures. Additionally, I discovered I'm a bit out of shape, painting wise. This means they're a bit rougher and less neat here and there than my usual painting style, but I'm still contented with them.
Anyway, enough waffle, on to the pictures:


And in action, cleansing a Space Hulk:


Oh, anf for those that are interested in such things: The Space Hulk Deathwing game is in beta for pre-orders this weekend and I've been playing it a bit. It is (hopefully) shaping up to be quite nice.  There are a few niggles and things that can be improved, especially on connection stability for online co-op, but graphically and with regards to look and feel, it's spot on! It's got me thinking about working on my own Space Hulk terrain again... They just need to squash those last bugs and it will be a marvellous game, I think.

See you next time!

zondag 30 oktober 2016

The Void Crows re-emerge

Well, I have the first day of the new job under my belt. It's still just in-house training, and will be for the next couple of weeks, but so far I'm liking it.

But that's not what you're here for, this is (mainly) a wargaming blog after all...
In the days between knowing I got the job and actually starting it, I decided to break out the brushes again. I didn't quite get the minis finished, but hey, that's what weekends are for.
So, what did I paint?
Those who have been following this blog for a longer time, or saw them back when =I=Munda first hit the stage on Dakkadakka, know that I've built a small salvage crew for it, and have been slowly working on expanding it.
Today I finished the last three additions:
Like the rest of crew, they don't have fixed names (yet), but I've been referring to them as "Sassy Girl", "Old Savant" and "Big Brute". If you look closely, you can nicely see the difference in sizes I managed to build into these models; Sassy Girl is just a bit smaller and more slender that the rest of the crew (done by shaving down the waist and shoulders, as well as the arms by a tiny bit), Old Savant is of standard unmodified size, where Big Brute is just a smidge bigger in all directions, thanks to .5mm shims in strategic places. It's not really noticeable on the table, but it does help in giving them the appearance and character I want them to have.
Here's a few more views:
As you can see in the pictures, these three are somewhat less combat-oriented than the original group, with Sassy Girl mainly being armed with a Boarding Gaff and a lumen-wand, with only a pair of throwing knives as a back-up. She's the youngest in the crew, and a bit of a mascot because of that. Her main task is to assist the Old Savant and haul cargo, but she has a fiery temper and a nose for trouble...
Old Savant wears a stubpistol because the rest of the crew forces him to. But being an information addict due to a meme-virus he contacted as a child, for the rest he just carries as much information with him as he can, as well as his favorite auto-quill. As he is an old man, and not of a physical bent, his void-suit has been retrofitted with a brass augmetic frame the crew salvaged a while back. Before he had it, he would need two of the crew to carry him around and prop him up somewhere to oversee salvage operations. His suit is also fitted with a shoulder-mounted Lux-caster. The crew couldn't do without the crotchety old man and his uncanny knack for finding the best pieces of loot.
Big Brute is most heavily armed of this group, carrying a stubpistol, large combat knife as well as his trusty huge crowbar... Like Sassy Girl, he will mainly be hauling salvage, as well as making sure that anything the crew needs loose or open gets that way very quickly!
Except for the Old Savant, they're wearing a lighter pattern of void suit than the rest of the crew as well. The reason is that these figures will be part of the "second wave" of salvagers, coming in after the clearing crew to select and haul the items and parts of the ships to be salvaged. They shouldn't be engaged in front-line combat, but you can never, ever, consider any derelict ship to be "safe".

Here's the crew exploring a derelict ship, with Old Savant pointing out a data-alcove that may still be functional:

And finally a proper look at the crew as it stands now:

What's still in store for this crew? I've got a few extra crewmembers planned or in progress; There will be a duo of lux-servoskulls, to help light their way, a servitor that can be equipped to either assist in hauling cargo or to cut open doors and locks with a plasmacutter. These are all primered and ready for paint. (But they've been in that state for ages, so don't expect this means you'll see them soon!)
I'm also building a small grav-sled to haul larger pieces of loot with.
And finally there are the last three members of the crew: 2 cargo haulers, that are also equipped with slab-shields. They will do dual duty hauling and securing cargo on their slab-shields or pushing forward to clear rooms where there's a bit more opposition... And the captain of the crew (the crewboss with shotcaster and chainsword is in charge of boarding operations, but occasionally the big boss himself will join the crew, if there are especially rich pickings to be found). He will be wearing a more luxury and flamboyant style of void suit.
I'm still not entirely decided on how I want to handle the slab-shields. I want them to be utilitarian, equally useful as a shield and as a sled or gurney to haul cargo on, and disposable, as they will also be used to quickly seal any inadvertent hull breaches the crew encounters, so they also need to look cheap and easily replaced.

There's also a void-suited itinerant Preacher in the works, but he isn't part of the crew proper.
If the new job and the new hobby/passion (woodworking) will leave enough time and energy, I'd really like to keep going on my small 40K narrative warbands, maybe even make an attempt at continuing my Space Hulk terrain. I got a real kick out of seeing all of it in the table again, especially now that enough time has passed that I can look at them with fresh eyes, without remembering the building process and the flaws I knew were there.

See you next time!

maandag 17 oktober 2016

(Not) Doing Stuff....

Heh, my previous post was letting you know I hadn't fallen off the edge of the Earth, and then I go silent for weeks... Sorry, folks!

Anyway, this will be a bit of a non-gaming post. Not entirely unexpectedly, the Muse has still been very erratic and absent for extended periods. At least as far as miniature stuff goes.

You see, this year I've decided to not be just a desk-jockey for the rest of my life, but also do something that I find rewarding and of lasting value on a personal level. To achieve this, I've started on a course for fine woodworking/furniture making. I've always liked wood and wooden articles, and have a life-long urge to make things (hence the wargaming/modelling, occasional bookbinding or other cockamamie project). Where this will go, I'm still undecided, maybe it will be a self-funding hobby, side job or maybe, if I get really lucky, a full time job?  But what creative urge there has been the last few weeks, has often been channeled into woodworking instead of wargaming, especially now that I have a little workspace in the garage.  I'll post some of the stuff I've been working on at the end of this post.

Also, I'm preparing to start a new (temporary) job soon, which means I need to renew certain certifications, leading to lots of studying in the last few days and coming week or two. Once I get that certification, I can start and will spend several weeks of on-the-job training and then a couple of months of certainly busy and probably erratic work. Which also means less or at least, less predictable, time for my various hobbies. On the other hand, all the activity at work may also just re-energize the old mojo-generator, who knows?

Oh, here's those pics of my first few projects I promised:

An Ash shop mallet, the final workpiece of the starter course. It this picture it hasn't had all the plugs and wedges sawn off yet. It has since been cleaned up and oiled and now serves as an excellent half-kilo of "persuasion". :D


A meditation bench for my wife. From a non-descript softwood that was a bit unpleasant to work with (Sold as "Scaffolding board", which is a DIY-by-the-numbers fashion item for making rough and ready screw-together furniture, not actually wood sturdy enough to use for scaffolding...). 
It's made to tilt and rock back to front, allowing the user to find the optimal angle of the seat and also forcing one to actively keep ones balance, leading to better posture during meditation. This was my first "solo" project, outside of the course. Made some mistakes (including one that cracked the wood on the legs), but learnt a lot. And the misses really appreciates getting/having it.


Solo project number two, a larch drawer/box. I made it mainly as an excuse to practice making dovetails, and contains my first dovetail joints ever. I'm happy with how neat they are for a first attempt. As that went well, I chose to take a risk and put a decorative butterfly key in the front side, made from oak. It still needs its surface finishing. Currently I'm using it as a sort of tool-tote around the (tiny) workshop. You can see the finished Ash mallet in the background.


What's up next? As money has been tight, a trip to the lumber yard has been out of the question, so I've had to beg and scrounge for my wood. So far this has netted a nice thin plank of walnut and a similar plank of hard maple, which I consider myself very lucky to get as a gift. I will be using these to make a christmas present for my wife. A friend said he had a hardwood pallet (which turned out to be beech, which surprised me). When I came to collect it, he had another surprise for me:
 A disc of Oak! (FYI, I don't have small feet... my shoes are literally a foot long. So you can estimate the size of that disc.)
I'll need to find a way to smooth it and get it to a uniform thickness. The crack in the left side will need to get butterfly keys to stabilise and strengthen it. (It's a total coincidence I chose to try making one in the larch box just a week or two before, but I'm happy I did!) I'm thinking of using the beech from the pallet to make a frame/legs for this slab and turn the whole set of gift wood into a side table. I won't be able to retain the bark, as it has already started to separate in too many places, but it will still end up an interesting shape. There's a wedge of oak to the left of the disk. Once I find suitable wood for legs, this may become a small stool, or if sufficient wood emerges, a taller shop stool to use when doing fine work at the workbench.
I've also been offered the off-cuts/leftovers of some furniture grade pine, but those will have to wait until the owner of the wood finishes his own project first. So no pre-made plans for those.

See you next time!

donderdag 22 september 2016

I'm not dead yet!


Well, I'm not...

As you may have noticed from the absense of posts on this blog, my Muse has been absent again. And I've fallen off the Man O'War train (for now...). Focus and interest is all over the place, flitting from one idea/project to the next, often even before I could get the first project out of the cupboard. Dreadfully annoying...

What little dollops of Painting Mojo I did manage to scrounge up have been spent on an attempt to paint the next three members of my Void Crows salvage crew:
From left to right you can see Sassy Girl, Old Savant and Big Brute (not the final names by a long stretch, but I need something with which to identify them to you). In the above pic, the undersuits are done and the hard shell of the void suit has been given its basecoat and wash. Highlighting will most like occur when next the Muse visits.

Today some bits arrived, which mean I can proceed with a few conversions that have been in the pipeline for a while.

First, two heavy weapons for my Genestealer Cult/1st Ed Space Hulk Hybrid blip list.
Unexpectedly current, I've been wanting to do these conversions ever since Deathwatch: Overkill hit the stores. And I've needed Genestealer Hybrid miniatures armed like this ever since I started my 3D Space Hulk Project, years ago...
Both minis are based on the Genestealer Hybrid with mining laser from the Deathwatch: Overkill box. The left one is toting an Autocannon, from the Imperial Guard Sentinel kit. The right is carrying a Conversion Beamer that came from a miscast I got in a trade. The Autocannoneer still needs a replacement backpack, preferably with some extra ammo. The Conversion Beamer Operator needs some fix-ups on the Conversion Beamer itself, but is otherwise good to go. Both still need bases, obviously.

The bits arrival also meant I can now proceed to build my own version of a certain Underhiver of Renown:
Yup, Bull Gorg, Pit Slave hero, the now classic Nurgle Lord conversion. Many have gone before me in this particular conversion, but I get to call this one all my own. :)

And, as it seems mandatory since the release of the September White Dwarf, my conversion of the freebie Slaughterpriest:
Around when the new White Dwarf hit, I was re-reading Dan Abnetts Pariah novel, which featured "Warblind": Heavily augmented and modified berserker soldiers, intimidating giants, relics of bygone wars that were left incapable of even contemplating peace or normal life, processing the world only in terms of combat and violence. In the novel these Warblind were segregated in closed-off streets where they formed violent, tribal gangs, with unaugmented, war-traumatised and feral soldiers unable to adapt to civilian life serving as their underlings and foottroops. Almost a feudal structure, if you look past the ultraviolence...
The whole terror and pathos of these figures inspired me to start this conversion. My plan is to make the left arm a combat augmetic, maybe that Ork Nob buzzsaw arm? The right arm will have the cleaver replaced with some sort of pistol. The leg armour will maybe get pistons and such added. Perhaps, if I like how he turns out, I might make a little Warblind gang for Inq28/=I=Munda? Ofcourse, he could also function perfectly as an extra-beefy Pit Slave chief.

I've also been ripping through my Oyumaru this week. I've been taking moulds of certain details from the one Cities of Death building I have, to use in making Necromunda and Space Hulk terrain (hopefully soon).
I've done the same with some resin bases, as I need bases with the same detail and style as my resin ones, but in a size the seller doesn't provide. The first batch of casts is curing as I type.

See you next time!

Edit: The 2016 Genestealer Cult has now been officially revealed. On a personal note I am absolutely stoked to see a 2 page art spread featuring Genestealer Cult battling Howling Griffons Space Marines in the preview of the hardback codex! Nice to see my beloved Battenberg Marines in action against my favorite xenos-worshipping scum.

dinsdag 30 augustus 2016

the Shire Defense Force mobilises!

Today, my first package of the Westfalia Miniatures Halfmen Kickstarter arrived, and they are glorious:

Tomorrow a second package should follow, containing the last few miniatures, and then I should have everything in my hands.
I had a quick look at them, and once again Westfalia Miniatures really impresses. (They already went well above and beyond coordinating with me to make sure my miniatures wouldn't arrive when I was away from home.)

Their choice in resin is excellent, it's light and takes detail very well, transferring every detail of the absolutely marvellous sculpts, while being ever so slightly flexible, which is great boon to actual wargaming use for this miniatures.
The casting is virtually flawless, with barely any mouldlines and little excess resin to deal with. (The only flaw I could find after checking every single miniature, was a slight misalignment of the mould on the visor of one my Goat Knights. Nothing a stroke with a file and maybe a dot of putty won't fix. Which for working with resin, and the sheer amount of miniatures I got, is so minor an issue it doesn't even properly count.) There are the usual slight bent spears and such that are part and parcel of resin minis, but even those are few and far between. And knowing Westfalia, all their shipments are to this standard of quality. They're just gobsmackingly amazingly good and very, very dedicated.

The sculpting is just exquisite and very, very clean. These will be an absolute joy to paint up.
I'd better start clearing my hobby table... :)

Hopefully they'll make their way to the Westfalia Miniatures online store, as I can certainly see myself expanding the collection.

So, what are my plans for these? Well, they'll get fed into the greater Dungeoneering/Chivalry/Fantasy monster project. I think they'll get divvied up into groups of a single Knight and his/her retinue, similarly to what I did with my Bretonnians. And mayble I'll cherrypick a few of them to accompany a Halfling Wizard to raid the kitchens and pantries of Frostgrave for frozen treats...

See you next time!

Edit: I feel these might come in handy at the painting stage... ;)
Food in Heraldry
The Wiki on food in heraldry

dinsdag 23 augustus 2016

The first part of the fleet is complete:
A squadron of Monitors, accompanied by a Nautilus, as well as its submerged marker.
A close up of the flags:
The frontmost symbol on the banners of the Monitors is the icon of Barak Varr, the dwarven coastal hold (or at least, as well as I can reproduce it on a 5x5mm area...):

Behind it is the symbol for their position within the squadron, a rune, a hammer and a battleaxe respectively. These are nods to the symbols on the original paper flags that came with the Monitors. The second squadron will have banners with red fields and white symbols.

The Nautilus has a Norse style Raven and a rune to mark it (as the Nautilii are essentially "lone wolves", my plan is to give each one a norse style animal symbol on their banner (one again, as best as I can render it in tiny, tiny format!)

Additionally each vessel has a runic symbol on its hull, in case the banners aren't clearly visible for some reason.


First step taken, on to the next batch!

See you next time.